Writer’s Journal: Noise or Quiet?

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 One of the things I need to have to get words out is quiet. I can’t focus when there’s a lot of noise. Here at home, in the Mistress’ Study, I turn on a fan and/or a small water fountain I have, to block noise. In the winter, the running of the furnace covers a surprising amount of sound, and in the summer, the air conditioner—when it runs—blocks out all noise.

But what do I do when the dogs bark? (And they do—a lot. They bark at everything that moves and some things that don’t!) What about the times I go outside of Burton Cottage to write? How do I handle that? And, is every writer like me?

The answer to that last question is a resounding NO. Many, many authors can’t write without some noise. Some of them play music when they write, often songs that go along with the story they’re writing. Some must have the noise of conversations around them. Some watch television or movies while they write. I’m kind of in awe of these people, to be honest. 

But, back to me. 🙂 Like I said earlier, my dogs do like to bark. Used to be just Selena, but she’s taught Jasper to do it, too. They don’t bark quietly, either. Nooooo. Jasper’s, especially, is often a deep, howl-like noise. And, they bark at anything and everything: birds in the yard next door, the cat that lives under the neighbor’s front porch, the kids walking home from the bus stop, the people walking into and out of the funeral home’s parking lot, the UPS guy, even the kids across the street, who are waaaaay back in front of their garage. Every house in the neighborhood is safer with my Boxers on patrol! But I digress …

How I handle the dogs is three-fold. I ignore as long as I can. When that stops I either shush them or yell at them to knock it off. Totally depends on my frustration level. 😉 I turn on the aforementioned fountain and/or box fan sometimes. My last resort is earplugs.

I bought purple foam earplugs a few weeks ago. They work well, as long as my allergies are not bad. However, once my sinuses start filling up, the earplugs begin to hurt and become distracting and I have to take them out. I’ll keep using them as often as I can, though. The dogs are usually downstairs when they’re barking, and the floor muffles the sound a tiny bit anyway. I should mention that I have gotten the dogs into the habit of remaining downstairs for up to three hours at a time while I nap or work or whatever. Usually, they’re pretty quiet down there. They play a little and lay on the couch a lot. I really need to extend that time, but by the time three hours have passed, I’m hungry. LOL

I don’t always want to write at home, though. I really do enjoy going out once in a while, plus I think I need to get the dogs used to me being gone more often. Down near the WalMart that’s near my allergy doc’s office, they have put in a Starbucks. I plan to go down there at least once a month to write for a couple hours, since I have to go down to get my shots anyway. I also found a Panera bread in the area, so I plan to write there once in a while, too. Of course, there are two libraries I can utilize—one in my town and one in a town south of me. What I have done so far in these places is just not stay long and not get much written; however, I plan to take my earplugs and try to use them. None of the places outside my home in which I write are terribly loud, and I think the earplugs will work fine, as long as my allergies are not out of control. 

There are other things I have tried, such as “colored” noise, like white noise, yellow noise, brown noise, etc. However, I found those too distracting. That seems odd to me, because I have to have a fan in the room, running, in order to sleep. *shrug* Just one of my little eccentricities, I guess!

Do you like noise or quiet? If you’re a writer, and you like quiet, how do you handle noise?

Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3

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